What are Bow Sights?
A bow sight is a small instrument or sighting device that is mounted onto your bow and consists of a small ring with points or axes on it. The sight itself will attach to what is called the “riser” of the bow and its function is to aid in aiming the arrow. It functions like a bead would at the end of a rifle barrel.
A bow sight essentially shows you where your arrow is pointing and where you’ll strike your target. Shooting a bow is definitely possible without a sight however it is very difficult to gauge where that arrow will strike without the help of a sight. In fact, most if not all modern bows are sold with a sight due to this difficulty.
A bow sight can also be helpful when shooting a target at a long range or at distance. Accuracy can be achieved with practice and through dialling-in your sight with your bow. In this article, we’re going to share some of the best bow sights reviews on the market.
Different Types of Bow Sight
Fixed pin bow sight
A fixed pin bow sight is the most common type of sight on the market today. It remains one of the most popular choices when it comes to bow hunting. Fixed pin sights are named due to the individual pins within the sight, usually between 3-5 pins per sight. Sometime these could be called 3 pin bow sights, 5 pin bow sights or even 7 pin sights depending on how many pins the bow sight has.
Each of these pins can be set to certain distances or ranges. In a fixed pin sight the position of the pin tells you what distance, for example, the top pin usually indicates a close distance. On the other side the lower pins will indicate the farther range or longest distances.
Hunters will set their pins at easy to remember distances of 5 yard to 10 yard increments. Shooting this way is quite straight forward. You locate the target and its 30 yards away. Simply sight the bow with the 30 yard pin and shoot. Once a pin is set on the sight it will remain in that position, it will be a fixed pin which is where the sight gets its name.
You will have to perform some shots to set up the sight and this requires a little bit of testing, adjustment, trial and error. If you set each pin appropriately you’ll be surprised at just how accurate and reliable a fixed pin sight can be.
Single pin bow sight or moveable-pin sight
A moveable or single pin sight consists of just one pin that is adjustable unlike a fixed pin sight where you have multiple pins that do not move. This single pin will have to be reset, moved and adjusted before each shot.
Single pin bow sights incorporate a bracket system or sometimes use levers to move the housing of the sight into position. This system allows you to adjust your sight in seconds. The sight will also contain a pointer, this is also adjustable and is designed to tell the shooter the distance in yards.
The yardage will be indicated through a series of hash marks on the side of the sight which you mark down yourself. The movable pin sight can be constantly readjusted to almost any distance you need simply by altering this pointer. This gives the archer the ability to set multiple references to distance within their sight rather than having fixed distances. All that is required is the ability to mark and note each distance yourself which requires setting up and testing the distances.
Pendulum/tree-stand bow sight
Pendulum sights are yet another variation on bow sight technology however this particular sight is designed with the tree-stand hunter in mind.
The pendulum sight is so designed to allow for the differences in elevation when shooting from a tree-stand. Hunters who usually stalk from an elevated perch like a tree-stand constantly fight to gauge an accurate distance due to the changes in elevation and the downhill shot.
An arrow shot from height will also be subject to the constraints of gravity, this pull of gravity will make an arrow target too high in many cases. A pendulum sight is designed to compensate for all these challenges with a single pen that swings out from the housing.
The swing out feature is what makes this sight unique and helps with the downward angle. The pendulum sight makes a lot of promises to help those bow hunters who utilize a tree-stand but that doesn’t mean they are a one-size-fits-all option for every hunter. You’ll need to try one out to be sure if it will work for you.
Green/red dot sight
A red dot or green dot sight is a relatively new innovation in the world of hunting sights. The design is comprised of a short tube where either a red or green diode is fixed. This diode is attached to the inner wall of the tube so it projects a beam of light to the front of the tube itself.
Once the light goes through the tube it will then pass through a lens that focuses the light through. This technology provides a pinpoint of light that resembles laser targeting. This sort of diode technology eliminates the need for a reticle and the resulting calculations you have to do when sighting a target through a traditional crosshair.
The red dot/green dot sight bridges the gap between the target and you, the shooter. These types of sights are one of the most accurate targeting systems on the market today.
There are a lot of benefits to using a dot sight including the ability to leave both eyes open when sighting through the scope, this improves the ability to judge distances with accuracy.
How Do You Choose The Best Bow Sight?
When choosing the best bow sight you’ll want to examine the type that is best for you as well as some other criteria. The two most important criteria when choosing a sight are discussed below.
1. How effective is the bow sight in low light?
If hunting is the primary reason for using your bow and for purchasing a bow sight you’ll want to consider how that sight works in low light situations. This is important since many of the animals you’ll be stalking will be active at dawn, dusk and even in the night time hours.
Functionality in low light relies on either high quality optics or the presence of an additional light source within the sight itself. Better optics simply means better glass or better lens that harvest more natural light out of the environment – these options can be a little more expensive.
Additional or artificial light will be created through a small light that runs inside the sight itself. These are the more economical of the two options but in some cases this light can wash out your sight, illuminating the entire surface.
2. How many pins do you need?
As you know you have several options when it comes to the amount of pins a certain sight or type of sight will have. All of these options have different functions as well as benefits. Depending on the factors in your own life or as a bow hunter you’ll want to consider just how many pins are the right amount for what you want to accomplish.
You’ll want to consider the area you live in and the type of terrain you hunt in for example. If you live in an area with a lot of long, open spans of land you’ll choose a different sight versus someone who lives in an area that consists of woods or densely packed trees.
The number of pins will also depend on your individual preference as well. Some shooters prefer what is called “gap shooting” where you aim at the gaps between pins while others prefer to have a single pin at which to aim.
Ultimately it comes down to your own personal preference as to the right amount of pins for you.
How To Choose The Best Hunting Bow Sight
Choosing the best bow sight for hunting really encompasses a lot of factors. You’ll want to take into account the type of hunting you’ll be doing (treestand vs. stalking) and the area you are hunting in. Since the terrain will vary depending on your location that may also be a factor.
When you start researching the perfect bow sight consider all of these individual elements before narrowing down your search. There are a variety of options in the current market so you will have a lot to choose from. A hunter should also take into consideration the type of animal he is hunting and the accuracy at which he’ll want to shoot.
A sight with a tighter, smaller grouping will be best for smaller animals however accuracy will be important regardless. Since there are so many options out there you’ll want to pick something that you are comfortable shooting with and that gives you the performance you’re personally satisfied with.
There isn’t a catch all solution for hunters when it comes to sights, it really is a matter of personal preference.
Bow Sight Comparison Table
Don’t forget to check out the individual product reivew below.
The Best Single Pin Bow Sight Reviews
Trophy Ridge React 0.19 Adjustable Sight Review
Trophy Ridge is well known for its commitment to quality products and the React sight is no different. Designed from sturdy composite to complement your bow and integrate seamlessly into the design. The Trophy Ridge React comes with Smart Pin Technology innovated by Trophy Ridge. We believe that this is the best Tophy Ridge bow sight in the market.
This feature can calculate a pin gap up to 100 yards with proven and consistent accuracy. The setup is simple, requiring only the adjustment of two pins then you’re ready to start making your mark and hitting your targets reliably.
The React sight features a micro windage that doesn’t require any tools as well as elevation to make it easy to adjust your sight while in a treestand or in the field. The sight is designed to integrate with any compound bow system and is lightweight aluminium.This design keeps your total weight down as well. There’s also a highly visible sight level to keep your shots consistent and on target.
Overall it is a fantastic sight, it is one of the best on the market today and certainly one of the most flexible when it comes to bow hunting. The sight comes with a large assortment of features including a rheostat light that improves low-light visibility. With all of these options it is a great purchase or gift for the archery expert in your family.
HHA OL-5519 Optimizer Bow Sight Review
HHA OL-5519 Optimizer Lite belongs to the single pin adjustable sight category. A single pin sight allows the user to adjust the sight by finding a yardage to set the baseline for. This sort of design sets a single yardage and gets rid of the need for multiple pins which can get in the way of your “sight” in the actual eyepiece itself.
Single pin sights are fantastic for accuracy and target shooting at this HHA model is no different. The sight is well made and it is obvious that it will last a long time just from the feel of the material, it’s sturdy. The mechanism’s themselves are also made well, all the parts of the sight fit well together and move smoothly as they were designed to.
Adjusting the sight is incredibly easy as well. The included instructions are very easy to navigate if you’re a new shooter. In order to adjust the site you can calculate ranges at various yardages, and then apply the appropriate sticker (included) to the sight.
This sort of single pin sight will really give you the confidence to go for those longer shots too and with incredible accuracy. There is no shortage of options either when it comes to the Optimizer Lite, you can attach a magnification lens to the front to make viewing even easier. For a clear, bright single pin sight this HHA model is best on the market today.
Trophy Ridge Driver Slider 1-Pin Bow Sight
Trophy Ridge Driver Slider Sight 1-Pin – this Drive Slider sight is manufactured by Trophy Ridge and comes with the same attention to detail you’d expect from such a high rated company. There are many features all packed within this sight, you get a lot for your money considering everything that comes with it. We believe that this is the best value bow sight in the market.
All in all the sight is well made and you can tell, just the feel of the Drive Slider in your hand tells you it has been manufactured to last and with quality materials. The drive itself delivers a very fluid range of motion, adjustments are smooth and silent which help during those early mornings in the tree-stand.
There are nearly limitless options for adjusting the pin as well. Installation of the sight onto your compound bow requires only 2 screws, it seats well and is well attached even with the two small points.
One of the best features in the Trophy Ridge Drive Slider is the sheer amount of adjustments that are possible, it really is amazing and the windage is very easy to tailor to your needs. All it takes is a small wrench to adjust things here.
Vertical adjustments add a completely new element to the sight and there’re even glow-in-the-dark yardage marks. The sight itself is very bright and this is due to the green fiber optic but you also have an option to use an included LED light.
The Best Fixed Pin Bow Sight Reviews
Field Logic IQ 5 Pin Sight Review
The Field Logic IQ is a step away from your more traditional single pin sights, this model features 5 pins and is set up a little differently. It may take some practice to get used to the changes but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The good far outweighs any learning curve you may have to adjust to though.
The sight is designed to eliminate torque in your wrist while firing and it really accomplishes that well. On top of these features the sight is well made and light weight, in fact, I think it actually reduced the total weight on the test model it was used on.
The Field Logic IQ can be used by any shooter whether they are new to the sport or a seasoned hunter. The sight is built very well and its durable, it is designed to last for years in the elements as well as fit into your bow in a seamless way. The optional light does tend to wash out some of the sight though and doesn’t contribute much to the overall experience so don’t feel like you have to tack that onto your purchase.
Also, be aware this is designed for a right hand model so you are limited in that respect. Overall though a great multiple pin sight for the money and one you’ll get a lot of use out of.
Trophy Ridge 5 Pin Bow Sight
This fixed pin sight by Trophy Ridge continues the tradition of quality and durability in the line of products manufactured by this company. The technology integrated into the Trophy Ridge 5 is amazing and creates accuracy for down-range shooting with ease.
The main selling point on this sight is, in fact, the accuracy you can achieve just by using it. This is in part thanks to the innovative design and the “Smart Pin” technology that is integrated into the sight itself. The Trophy Ridge 5 also features tool-less adjustment for the windage and elevation making dialing in your bow that much easier.
These adjustments can be made in the field with ease or even from your treestand. Once you’ve locked in an accurate yardage there is nothing more you need to do, it is that easy. Once you’ve locked in at 20 and 30 yards the rest of your pins are set, you don’t have to do anything more.
This feature makes the Trophy Ridge one of the easiest fixed pin sights on the market today and it is why it’s one of the best among hunters. The sight is made well and is durable with a tight clip on design. It will integrate well no matter what bow you own.
TruGlo Carbon XS 4 Pin .019 Bow Sight
If you want the best sight for your money then look no further than the TruGlo Carbon XS 4 Pin .019 Sight. This sight is an amazing value for your money. It is constructed out of indestructible, light-weight composite that is well made as well as sleek. The design looks great and integrates well with any compound bow you may have in your arsenal. We believe that this is the best bow sight for the budget.
This sight is adjustable and can be used by shooters who are either right or left handed. It is just another aspect of flexibility that TruGlo has added to this particular model – it is also a reason this model is as popular as it is. The sight has a “soft-touch” technical coating as well that adds further protection to your gear.
The sight has a huge field of view too enabling incredible accuracy. Though the sight is sort of a “no frills” option there is a lot to be had here for the price. Overall it is easy to install onto any compound bow and easy to adjust as well. This really is an every man’s bow sight.
The Best Pendulum Bow Sight Reviews
Truglo Pendulum Adjustable Bracket 1-Pin Sight
This adjustable bracket TruGlo sight is one of the best options for a hunter who uses a treestand. Overall this model is the quietest sight on the market today. It features an advanced design and durable construction that is lightweight yet strong enough to handle the elements. This sight is built to last and is one of the most innovative sights available.
The Truglo Pendulum Adjustable Bracket 1-Pin Sight .029″ is designed to automatically compensate up to 35 yards of distance. The pendulum is also able to be locked in place and that is useful for shooting from the ground. So essentially you have a very powerful sight that can be adjusted to the way you shoot or the terrain you’re hunting in.
Simply one of the best sights for the money out there and it is extremely quiet. Described by many hunters as the most advanced pendulum sight you can purchase and accurate at long yardage. The locking pendulum ensures you only have to make one adjustment and you’re good to shoot.
The Best Dot Bow Sight Review
Truglo Archers Choice Range Rover Pro Green Dot Sight
The Truglo Archers Choice Range Rover has a variety of features that make it best in its class for a dot bow sight. These features include a green LED aiming point that illuminates with 11 brightness settings as a major selling point. Other notable options include an adjustable slider sight with yardage tapes included. All these functions make the Range Rover Dot Sight perfect for a low light hunting environment.
The slider sight included with the Range Rover features a yardage stop that is adjustable as well, this delivers a smooth adjustment to elevation for the tree-stand hunter. The illuminated LED aiming point improves overall accuracy over longer ranges when compared to other bow sights.
The adjustable brightness really helps a bow hunter adapt to the conditions which can change at any time – this added flexibility is really helpful when in the field. This sight is also adjustable for a left or right handed shooter so it accommodates everyone’s dominant hand. In addition to all of these features the sight is expandable, it will accept a 1.87″ scope lens though that particular accessory is sold separately.
Overall this dot bow sight by TRUGLO is the best option on the market today. It consistently outperforms all others in its class with a wide range of adjustable options that function in ever-changing conditions.
Finally, there is no shortage of options when it comes to purchasing a bow sight for your compound bow. You have a variety of types to choose from with a wide range of features and price points.
The best bow sights listed here have flexibility built into their design with the ability to make precise adjustments along a wide range of movement.
Hands down the best sight reviewed here is the Trophy Ridge React 0.19 Adjustable Sight, this single pin bow sight has the most adjustments and best features. It is the best all-around bow sight for shooters from beginner to the more advanced.
The only drawback to this particular sight is that it is priced a little higher than some of the other models reviewed but that is due to the high quality of the bow sight itself. If you can afford it this is the bow sight to go with.
When looking for a bow sight you should compare all the options that are available to you and your budget to get the most bang for your buck.
The bow sights reviewed in this article are a great compilation of the many options out there, they represent the best in their respective categories and provide a good starting point when you’re searching for the perfect bow sight. Happy hunting!